Spunky is my best straight friend. We’ve known each other since we were counselors together at Scout camp at the tender age of 19 and have watched one another grow up. I remember when we thought 30 was old. And when we both marched together into 30 still unmarried (contrary to many of our well-laid out plans), we embraced it together.

This is us at my mom’s gay wedding in October. We were celebrating our 10 year friendaversary.

The best way to describe Spunky is that she and I are like sisters. We are so similar in so many ways emotionally, but we’re put together completely differently. She’s a cheerleader looking choir geek, while I’m a flamboyant fat femme life of the party. She’s totally straight and I’m… queer. She had to wrap her head around transmen when I started dating them. I remember once she said “Can’t you just have a gender neutral pronoun so I don’t fuck up when I talk about who you’re dating?” I explained, actually, that the queers already have that stuff, it’s just sorta fumbly sometimes.

She and I are both in the throws of new dating situations right now. I thought I would highlight two good experiences she’s had, which is fairly unusual considering how bad first dates can go. One guy met her on a set-up group date and emailed her right when he got home. He said, “I didn’t want you to be wondering if I liked you; I wanted you to know right away I wanted to date you.”

Dating him reminded her she was a rockstar, but also reminded her how important her space and solitude is to her. Sometimes people don’t get that to an independent woman being alone does not equate to “lonely”.

In some ways that was totally awesome because her last relationship left her with a deep cavern of endless conjecture and he broke up with her in a car on the way home from the airport. It’s nice to not have the guessing games, but at the same time there’s a level of being realistic about how fast things should be moving.

She broke things off after four weeks because it wasn’t going to work. Now there’s a new guy she’s had some correspondence with (introduced by a friend who knew them both to love Jesus and beer) and instead of bringing flowers on their first date he gave her an envelope. On it was a stick figure boy giving flowers to a stick figure girl. Inside was a card that said that instead of buying her flowers, he gave money to her college alumni association in her name. Anyone who pays any attention to Spunky knows this is the perfect thing to do for her. He wins points for years.

In addition to being involved with one anothers’ personal growth (which has been leagues in 10 years because we’re too interesting to be static) we’re also the kind of friends who can pore over the details of every relationship with one another. We emote identically–so when I don’t know how to react to something because I’m all clouded with But I like her so much and I’m so attracted to her she will totally turn the mirror on me and say, “Look, the way she’s acting is not the way you act when you want someone to stick around. You’re worth more than that.”

We’re also the kind of friends who can say “I’m not ready for that advice right now! Right now we’re canoeing up the river DeNile and you’re bringing the Girl Scout Cookies!!”

Spunky and I can spin a metaphor for hours and like to use a lot of great catch phrases, like “Romantic comedies–part of the problem, part of the solution.” This came into sharp relief for me this week when I saw He’s just not that into you.*

I don’t know what it is about who I am attracted to, but I often find myself dating people I don’t understand.

Dating people you don’t understand can involve long, drawn out conversations with your besties along the lines of “What did she mean when she said this?” “What does it mean when he does that?”

When I’m not dating someone, this is easy, I will totally straight up ask someone, What’s the deal? Or, really it doesn’t matter because I’m not trying to get in their pants and it’s not that deep. But when my feelings are involved, it is that deep. I want to know I’m doing what I can to not fuck it up.

He’s just not that into you could have been a really crappy movie. All star cast, romantic comedy, based on a Sex and the City book. Easily could have been shitty and people still would have seen it. I was surprised when I heard it was great. And it was! It was hysterical, moving and made me so glad I didn’t see it with a date. I don’t want them to know the level of analysis my besties play in my romantic dealings. There’s a scene where one girl says to another girl, “OMG he likes you! Let’s go online and plan your destination wedding!!” An extreme example, but seriously.

Spunky and I like to call this “Keeping the crazy between us.” Because we can be crazy, and say all the overanalytical stuff to one another and then go back to our love interests and be completely cool and normal. So the fact that we keep the crazy between us… and now everyone who watches that movie was a little intense.

I called her right after the film let out to tell her to go see it. That night when we caught up not only had she seen it, she intended to get it on DVD for future reference material. And she had harsh advice for me. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but at the same time, Spunky has been in my life for over a decade and knows when I’m making excuses for people. I know what I’m worth and sometimes I need a little nudging to stand up for it.

Anyway, it remains to be seen what will happen with my love life. But for now, Spunky and I invite you to share in the crazy and go watch He’s Just Not That Into You, but see it with a friend who understands.

*Tara and I saw it together, and because of the deep personal relevance I was feeling we spent most of the time holding hands and we had to cuddle afterwards.

4 Responses

  1. thanks for the comment over at my blog. glad i was able to provide some context/insight…it was a tough post to write but that’s exactly why i did end up putting it out there.

    also, i love that your friend came up with gender neutral pronouns on her own.

  2. It’s so important to have friends that can be your emotional and analytical sounding boards. Sometimes in the midst of a charged situation, I can’t get my heart and head to engage at once and I’ll up feeling muddled.

    So rather than act rashly, I’ll go to my “keeping the crazy between us” (love that phrase) pals to pick every aspect of the situation apart. That ultimately benefits the person I’m dating, because I come back calmer and more rational and more generous than I would have been. My current relationship wouldn’t have worked out as well as it has without great friends to lean on and process with when times were tough.

    Glad you’re not making excuses for anyone, and that Spunky helps you stay centered. xox

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